(Bloomberg) -- Bitcoin's price plummeted after U.S. regulators rejected a proposal by the Winklevoss twins for a publicly traded fund based on the digital currency, dashing hopes that a government-approved investment vehicle would lead to wider interest in virtual money.

The SEC refused to grant an exemption that would have let the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust trade on the Bats BZX Exchange, according to a filing posted Friday on the regulator's website. The decision ended a months-long rally that pushed the virtual money's value higher than gold. Bitcoin fell as much as 18% against the dollar to $978.76 after the decision, the lowest intraday price in a month.

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